Added bonus: "Good stuff" from the Utah blogosphere
We'd like to put the spotlight on this scathing editorial in this morning's Salt Lake Tribune, on the subject of ethics in the state legislature. Here are the blistering opening 'graphs:
If anyone in Utah still believes that there's nothing rotten in the state of Utah's legislative branch, then they haven't been paying attention for a long, long time. Perhaps they'd rather hold to the belief that their lawmakers are as ethical and honorable as they keep claiming they are.Yes, once again the bumbling Senator Chris Buttars is at the center of the controversy du-jour. State Senate President John Valentine's in the thick of it too. Read the full editorial here.
Well, many of them aren't, folks, and we take no pleasure in saying so.
But the stench of corruption around the Capitol from all the self-dealing, bullying, power-grabbing, hate-mongering, lavish lobbying and slavish payback, is strong enough to make the eyes smart and the nostrils burn.
Strong words, we grant you. But after it was revealed that Senate President John Valentine had ignored a gross ethical breach by Sen. Chris Buttars, R-West Jordan, until, many months later, it was reported in this newspaper, we believe we're in no danger of overstating the ethical vacuum and sense of entitlement that pervade Capitol Hill today.
Senator Valentine can't imagine what the problem is. All Buttars did, after all, was send a threatening letter to a sitting Utah District Court Judge who'd ruled unfavorably against one of Buttars' cronies... on official Utah Legislature stationary... while serving as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary committee... you know, the committee which screens judges who are appointed to the Utah bench. This was no big deal to Valentine of course, who takes the remarkable position (with a completely straight face) that Buttars can shield his egregious misconduct behind the protections of the First Amendment. Hoo-boy.
And for some background on Senator Buttars' most recently-exposed political blunder, which the ethics-challenged Senate President John Valentine reportedly kept buried for at least two months, check out this short article collection from the The Third Avenue, where you'll find some exceptional analysis and commentary on the subject.
So how about it gentle readers? Anyone want to comment on ethics in the State Legislature (if any,) this bright Weber County Friday morning?
Don't let the cat get your tongues.
Update 2/29/08 3:35 p.pm MT: Another good update from The Third Avenue. The young Utah lawyer who runs this blog is very politically astute, we think. And he's definitely on a roll, in re this story.